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UPDATE Seven times lucky: Brison returned to Ottawa


KINGS-HANTS - Having seven players vie for the opportunity to represent Kings-Hants in Ottawa didn't seem to hurt Scott Brison's chances for re-election.

The Liberal incumbent was returned to his seat Oct. 19 after defeating his nearest rival by a landslide. It marked his seventh victory as a politician.

In his victory address, he said it was clear that Canadians were ready for Justin Trudeau to be the next prime minister. 

"They're ready for a more honest and transparent - better - government; they're ready for a brighter future for our families," Brison said. 

The 48-year-old was first bitten by the political bug at the tender age of 11 when he attended a rally for Ron Russell. He first represented Kings-Hants in 1997 as a Progressive Conservative. He briefly gave up his seat in the summer of 2000 so PC leader Joe Clark could gain a seat in a byelection. When the general election was called that fall, Brison was returned to his seat.

In 2003, Brison crossed the floor to join the Liberal Party and was then returned to Ottawa in the subsequent elections of 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2011.

"In 1997, I was part of 20 Progressive Conservative members of parliament elected that year. Interestingly, after tonight, there will only two members of that Progressive Conservative caucus left in the House of Commons - me and Bill Casey," said Brison, as the room of supporters broke into laughter.

"And we're both proud to be Liberals."

Brison's partner, Maxime Saint-Pierre, was by his side Oct. 19 as the results rolled in. 

Brison said it was a privilege to be returned to Ottawa, and vowed to work hard for Atlantic Canadians.

“I want to thank the people of King-Hants who stood by me for seven elections through thick and thin,” said Brison. “You stood by me, and I will stand by you. I will not let you down.”

Brison's 92-year-old father, Clifford, was at the post-election party and was beaming from ear-to-ear as people provided him with updates on the race. Although he left before learning the final results, Brison said he didn't think he had seen his dad so excited.

As the results were being tabulated, it became clear that the Maritimes were looking for change.

“Even though it's in the autumn here in Nova Scotia, I have a feeling here tonight like it's the end of a long, cold, dark winter. Welcome to Canadian spring,” said Brison, to cheers.

“The people of King-Hants, the people of Atlantic Canada, have chosen hope over fear. And after 10 years of Stephen Harper dividing Canadians, pitting one group against the other, we now have a real leader – Justin Trudeau – who is uniting Canadians with a vision to build a better, stronger, fairer Canada.”

David Morse

David Morse ended up a victim of the Liberal sweep of Atlantic Canada in what will likely spell the end of his political career.

 “I’m not surprised we’re likely going to lose,” the Conservative said shortly before Scott Brison was declared elected in Kings-Hants. “The wish for change seems to be prevailing.”

Morse said he had “no regrets” about his decision to go head-to-head with Brison one more time.

“I agreed to do it last time, for the right reasons, and we almost won,” Morse said at a sombre party election night.

“I have no regrets about running this time, and there is nothing I would change – about running, or about the campaign we ran. I had a super campaign team that did everything I could ask of them. It’s just where we are.”

Little could be done to stop the red wave that swept over Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada. Morse said he could sense the Liberal tide building, both in Kings-Hants and further afield.

“When I ran the first time, I felt we needed to win a majority (of the vote) and more” in order to win the seat. “This time, our opposition was the Liberals, not the NDP, and they were running an 18-year incumbent.” 

Megan Brown-Hodges

Although things were definitely leaning towards a Brison victory, Brown-Hodges remained optimistic.

“I think we can cinch a win,” Brown-Hodges said, with 70 votes to Brison’s 20,000. “We’re only into a few of the ridings so far, so anything could happen.”

Brown-Hodges said independents and fringe candidates still play an important role in democracy.

“It would be boring otherwise,” she said. “It’s kind of amazing to live in a riding with seven candidates, even if three of us are fringies and wild. It’s nice to create an atmosphere that even those who don’t like the status quo can still go out there and have their say.

“At this point I see 70 people giving their middle finger to Ottawa, which is cool.”

Brown-Hodges said she’s not going anywhere.

Edd Twohig

Twohig predicted he wouldn’t win, but he’s hopeful his campaign put some ideas forward.

“I wasn’t expecting much, my interest was to get a message out there regarding what’s happened to Canada in the last 45 years, because nobody seems to be tracing slowly from all of the political parties who have done nothing to stop the damage to our economy because of the inequity of wealth and income,” he said.

Twohig hopes his campaign will get someone to take action on the issue.

Twohig doesn’t plan to run again, but would seek out an independent on the ballot next time around.

 

Cliff Williams

 

Williams said this election showed that politics in Canada tend to repeat themselves: “Liberal-Tory, Liberal-Tory.”

“It’s revealing that whatever the leader of the Liberal party was preaching was certainly paying dividends down here in Atlantic Canada,” Williams said. “It’s shocking in some regards.”

Williams said independents remain the best choice, because they don’t have to vote one way or another based on party-politics.

“We’re realists and also a force to reckoned with,” he said, referring to independent candidates. “A lot of independents are sitting back and waiting for the next election.”

 

 

Hugh Curry

NDP candidate Hugh Curry hopes Scott Brison will follow through with progressive promises made during the campaign.

“It looks like overall the strategic voting worked in the favour of the red team,” he said.

“We’ve lost some really, really good people in Atlantic Canada.”

Curry said he was proud to be part of such an important election in Canada.

“I have met some incredible people.”

 

Will Cooper

 

It was early to bed election night for Green candidate Will Cooper.

“I’m very short on sleep,” the Wolfville resident said the morning after the Liberal victory. With an early landslide for Brison, he opted for shut-eye over watching results.

“I'm not surprised by the results, but I hope that during the next election, under proportional representation, there will be less talk of strategic voting,” Cooper said.

“Many people told me they wanted to vote Green but felt they had to vote for the party with the best chance of beating the Conservatives."

He hopes this will change in the future.

The Liberal incumbent was returned to his seat Oct. 19 after defeating his nearest rival by a landslide. It marked his seventh victory as a politician.

In his victory address, he said it was clear that Canadians were ready for Justin Trudeau to be the next prime minister. 

"They're ready for a more honest and transparent - better - government; they're ready for a brighter future for our families," Brison said. 

The 48-year-old was first bitten by the political bug at the tender age of 11 when he attended a rally for Ron Russell. He first represented Kings-Hants in 1997 as a Progressive Conservative. He briefly gave up his seat in the summer of 2000 so PC leader Joe Clark could gain a seat in a byelection. When the general election was called that fall, Brison was returned to his seat.

In 2003, Brison crossed the floor to join the Liberal Party and was then returned to Ottawa in the subsequent elections of 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2011.

"In 1997, I was part of 20 Progressive Conservative members of parliament elected that year. Interestingly, after tonight, there will only two members of that Progressive Conservative caucus left in the House of Commons - me and Bill Casey," said Brison, as the room of supporters broke into laughter.

"And we're both proud to be Liberals."

Brison's partner, Maxime Saint-Pierre, was by his side Oct. 19 as the results rolled in. 

Brison said it was a privilege to be returned to Ottawa, and vowed to work hard for Atlantic Canadians.

“I want to thank the people of King-Hants who stood by me for seven elections through thick and thin,” said Brison. “You stood by me, and I will stand by you. I will not let you down.”

Brison's 92-year-old father, Clifford, was at the post-election party and was beaming from ear-to-ear as people provided him with updates on the race. Although he left before learning the final results, Brison said he didn't think he had seen his dad so excited.

As the results were being tabulated, it became clear that the Maritimes were looking for change.

“Even though it's in the autumn here in Nova Scotia, I have a feeling here tonight like it's the end of a long, cold, dark winter. Welcome to Canadian spring,” said Brison, to cheers.

“The people of King-Hants, the people of Atlantic Canada, have chosen hope over fear. And after 10 years of Stephen Harper dividing Canadians, pitting one group against the other, we now have a real leader – Justin Trudeau – who is uniting Canadians with a vision to build a better, stronger, fairer Canada.”

David Morse

David Morse ended up a victim of the Liberal sweep of Atlantic Canada in what will likely spell the end of his political career.

 “I’m not surprised we’re likely going to lose,” the Conservative said shortly before Scott Brison was declared elected in Kings-Hants. “The wish for change seems to be prevailing.”

Morse said he had “no regrets” about his decision to go head-to-head with Brison one more time.

“I agreed to do it last time, for the right reasons, and we almost won,” Morse said at a sombre party election night.

“I have no regrets about running this time, and there is nothing I would change – about running, or about the campaign we ran. I had a super campaign team that did everything I could ask of them. It’s just where we are.”

Little could be done to stop the red wave that swept over Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada. Morse said he could sense the Liberal tide building, both in Kings-Hants and further afield.

“When I ran the first time, I felt we needed to win a majority (of the vote) and more” in order to win the seat. “This time, our opposition was the Liberals, not the NDP, and they were running an 18-year incumbent.” 

Megan Brown-Hodges

Although things were definitely leaning towards a Brison victory, Brown-Hodges remained optimistic.

“I think we can cinch a win,” Brown-Hodges said, with 70 votes to Brison’s 20,000. “We’re only into a few of the ridings so far, so anything could happen.”

Brown-Hodges said independents and fringe candidates still play an important role in democracy.

“It would be boring otherwise,” she said. “It’s kind of amazing to live in a riding with seven candidates, even if three of us are fringies and wild. It’s nice to create an atmosphere that even those who don’t like the status quo can still go out there and have their say.

“At this point I see 70 people giving their middle finger to Ottawa, which is cool.”

Brown-Hodges said she’s not going anywhere.

Edd Twohig

Twohig predicted he wouldn’t win, but he’s hopeful his campaign put some ideas forward.

“I wasn’t expecting much, my interest was to get a message out there regarding what’s happened to Canada in the last 45 years, because nobody seems to be tracing slowly from all of the political parties who have done nothing to stop the damage to our economy because of the inequity of wealth and income,” he said.

Twohig hopes his campaign will get someone to take action on the issue.

Twohig doesn’t plan to run again, but would seek out an independent on the ballot next time around.

 

Cliff Williams

 

Williams said this election showed that politics in Canada tend to repeat themselves: “Liberal-Tory, Liberal-Tory.”

“It’s revealing that whatever the leader of the Liberal party was preaching was certainly paying dividends down here in Atlantic Canada,” Williams said. “It’s shocking in some regards.”

Williams said independents remain the best choice, because they don’t have to vote one way or another based on party-politics.

“We’re realists and also a force to reckoned with,” he said, referring to independent candidates. “A lot of independents are sitting back and waiting for the next election.”

 

 

Hugh Curry

NDP candidate Hugh Curry hopes Scott Brison will follow through with progressive promises made during the campaign.

“It looks like overall the strategic voting worked in the favour of the red team,” he said.

“We’ve lost some really, really good people in Atlantic Canada.”

Curry said he was proud to be part of such an important election in Canada.

“I have met some incredible people.”

 

Will Cooper

 

It was early to bed election night for Green candidate Will Cooper.

“I’m very short on sleep,” the Wolfville resident said the morning after the Liberal victory. With an early landslide for Brison, he opted for shut-eye over watching results.

“I'm not surprised by the results, but I hope that during the next election, under proportional representation, there will be less talk of strategic voting,” Cooper said.

“Many people told me they wanted to vote Green but felt they had to vote for the party with the best chance of beating the Conservatives."

He hopes this will change in the future.

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